Cycling Safety 2022

Last Updated: 05/05/2022

On a beautiful day what could be more perfect than a bike ride! With so many people going on bike rides during the pandemic, it’s become a popular hobby and a fun way to exercise. While cycling has many benefits both physically and mentally, it’s important that you stay safe while riding your bike. We will go through what the law says about cycling, how to keep yourself and others safe, while also looking at how to keep your bike secure.

 

Cycling and the Law

As a cyclist it’s important to be road safe and follow the laws around cycling and the advice given by the Government on how to cycle safely.

Currently there are over 20 laws on cycling on the road, including laws for general regulations, road junctions, roundabouts and crossing the road. This includes information on light’s, cycle lanes, pavement safety, safe clothing, traffic lights, road positioning, junctions, turnings, and crossings.

In 2022 the new Highway Code was released which changes the hierarchy of the road, placing pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders above any vehicles. This gives them greater authority on the road minimising the risk on the road to those more vulnerable.

Have a read through what is and isn’t legal and what are the important rules to follow to make sure your safety knowledge is up to scratch.

 

Know Your Turn Signals

To Turn Left:

Extend your left arm out to the side well before you intend to turn. Slowly begin to break and then make your turn.

To Turn Right:

Extend your right arm out to the side well before you intend to turn. Slowly begin to break and stop if it is not safe to turn. Ensure that there is no oncoming traffic and safely take your turn.

To Stop:

Extend either arm downward in an upside down ‘L’ position and come to a stop. Ensure that there is sufficient time between when you make the signal and when you come to a stop.

 

Check Your Equipment

Ensure That Your Seat Is Adjusted to The Proper Height and Locked in Place

The very tops of your toes should be able to reach the ground whilst on the bike, but you should not be able to place both feet on the ground at the same time. If you can do this, then your bike seat is too low.

Check The Tyres Are Inflated

Your tyres should be fully rounded with no punctures or holes. You’ll be able to tell if your tyre has been punched from a wheezing sound that is made when the tyres are inflated or if your tyres seem to deflate very quickly.

Ensure You Have Installed Reflectors at The Front and Rear of Your Bike

This will increase your visibility which is especially important at night and dusk where there is very little light. For extra safety, you can install reflectors on the pedals and spokes. However, most new bikes come with reflectors on all 4 points.

Add A Horn or A Bell

If you ever are riding in car populated areas, install a horn or a bell to be able to make people aware of you. Much like a car horn, you can alert people to your presence if you have not been seen.

Make Sure Your Breaks Are Working

Perform a brake test before every journey to ensure that your breaks are working. Spin your front wheel to a reasonable speed and then grasp the breaks and measure how fast the wheel stops spinning. It should stop almost instantly, if not you might need to get your breaks check by a professional.

 

What Should I Wear When Riding a Bike?

Ultimately, your clothing should be both comfortable and practical which will keep you safe and increase your visibility to other road users.

Bright Colours

Wear bright and fluorescent clothing to increase your visibility; this will keep you safe as drivers will be able to see you better which will decrease the chances of an accident. Try to avoid dark clothing, especially at night, but if you must, we recommend having a florescent jacket on hand to make sure you stay safe.

Tight Clothing

Don’t wear loose fitting trousers or long skirts. Wearing clothing that is loose fitting can increase the chances that it will get caught in the gears and chain of the bike causing an accident. We suggest wearing tighter fitting trousers such as jeans or leggings that would allow the best movement and minimise chances of getting caught.

Safe Shoes

Choose shoes that will grip the pedals. Shoes such as heels, sandals, flip flops, and cleated shoes will not give you sufficient grip on your bike pedals which could cause harm to you and other road users if you lose grip. Trainers are great for bike riding.

 

Wear A Helmet!

A bike helmet is the best thing you can wear to protect yourself when cycling. You are not required by law to wear one, however there are many reasons why you should wear one. They will help protect your head and brain. The risk when cycling is that you may come off your bike, this can happen for several reasons and can range in severity. In some cases, a helmet may help to prevent you getting a serious injury.

This seems like a straightforward point but surprisingly there are many things you must remember when either buying or wearing a helmet.

  • Make sure it fits snugly on your head by adjusting the sizing pads or fit ring. It should not wobble when you move your head

  • Position the helmet level on your head, it should be around about one to two fingers width above the eyebrow, so it sits covering the forehead and not tipped back

  • Adjust the side straps so they can form a V shape in either side of your ears with the buckle centred under your chin. The strap should be tight enough that only one or two fingers can fit between the chin and the strap

  • Ensure that it is well vented to stop you from overheating

Bell Avenue MIPS Road Helmet

£53 from Amazon

This helmet is easy to adjust and works very well. The helmet is made of polycarbonate and features 18 vents, which helps to keep your head cool, while cycling. It also features reflective strips on the outside, to help you be visible. It is slightly heavier than most helmets, weighing 310g, but is a good price and works well to protect you.

Specialized S-Works Evade II ANGi MIPS Road Cycling Helmet

£199.99 from Tredz

This helmet is super comfy and well ventilated; it also boasts a sleek, aerodynamic design. The ANGi technology is basically a posh crash sensor. It sits in the helmet and if it detects an impact that is powerful enough to incapacitate you, then it turns your mobile phone into a beacon. A countdown will start on the app and if you do not stop it before it reaches 0 then a designated emergency contact will be sent a message with your last know coordinates. This feature is great for those who cycle off road and in remote locations. It’s not the cheapest on the list, but you get what you pay for.

Bontrager Circuit Wavecel Road Bike Helmet

£134.99 from Trekbikes

This helmet is a good all-rounder, suitable for on and off-road cyclists at any level of skill. It’s a neat, compact helmet that stands out from other with its distinctive shape. It’s well ventilated and boasts a Boa dial retention system.

 

Bike Locks

These days, bikes are not cheap whether you have a road bike, mountain bike or a child’s bike, you want to protect it. You must lock your bike up whenever it is unattended, in public or even in a garage or outbuilding. Make sure to check the Sold Secure rating of the lock that you buy, to ensure you are giving your bike the best security.

Abus Granit X-Plus 540

£100 from Halfords

Sold Secure: Diamond

The Abus Granit doesn’t have any frills or fancy features; it purely focuses on being the strongest lock out there. It has a super hard square shackle which reduces the effectiveness of any jaw cutting tool that might be used to break it. A bonus is that even if a thief does manage to cut it, its square shape prevents it from being twisted and removed. This means a thief would have to cut it twice to remove it, this would take them more time and hopefully someone would notice what they were doing. It’s quite expensive, but not as expensive as buying a new bike if yours is stolen.

Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini

£88.99 from Bikeparts

Sold Secure: Gold

This D lock is a great lock for your bike, specifically designed for urban use. Kryptonite is so confident in their locks that if your bike is stolen while secured with their lock then they will give you £2,500 towards a new bike. It’s on the smaller side, but it uses this to its advantage, the narrow width makes the lock even tougher to break. It is also one of the heaviest locks on the market. This 18mm Gold standard U lock specs should reassure you of its durability and effectiveness.

Onguard Pitbull Dt Shackle U-Lock Plus Cable

£33.99 from Tredz

Sold Secure: Gold

If you are looking for a bike lock that’s not expensive, but still very secure, then look no further than this Onguard Pitbull. It has full Sold Secure rating but is half the price of its competitors. It’s relatively light at 1.77kg and has a nifty light feature that will help you unlock it in the dark. The U bar is covered in a vinyl that protects your frame and wheels from scratches.

The best front doors for your home 2022

Your front door is the main access point for the majority of homes and thus it is the main access point for burglars. Did you know that 76% of burglars entered a property through the front door? Here at Keytek® we are passionate about your homes security and that includes the durability of your front door. Take a look at our blog where we compare the top 3 recommended front doors you will find in the UK.

 

uPVC Front Doors

uPVC doors are one of the most popular and best type of front doors in the UK market due to their low price and easy maintenance upkeep. uPVC doors are improving security wise with their multi-point locking systems and the ability to add the extra security of an anti-snap lock.  But older versions of uPVC doors are not the most secure door you can find with them having a relatively short shelf-life of around 10-15 years. Once your uPVC front door reaches 10 years old it is important to take a look at the quality and durability of the door and consider updating it to a newer version or upgrading to a different material such as wooden or composite.

 

uPVC Door Issues

Every door can come with their own issues, but we have used our expertise to create the Ultimate Guide to uPVC Door and Window Lock Issues so that you can make sure your uPVC door keeps your home secured! Read about fixing a broken mechanism, how to change a cylinder lock, what to do when your upvc door won’t open and more!

 

Wooden Front Doors

Wooden doors are popular due to their traditional appearance that appeals to many UK homeowners. Wooden doors are an excellent choice with security in mind as they cannot be kicked through or forced open by a burglar when paired with a solid door frame. You will usually find a mortice lock paired with a Yale type lock on a wooden door but some companies are now offering multi-point locking systems with wooden doors too for that extra peace of mind.

What uPVC doors have over wooden is that wooden doors are much more expensive than uPVC and require more maintenance.

 

Composite Front Doors

Composite doors are the optimum choice for front door security. They were designed to combat the flaws of uPVC doors and the extra work needed to maintain wooden doors. Consisting of multiple materials including wood, insulated foam, aluminium and glass reinforced plastic, composite doors are the strongest on the market. The combination of all the different materials not only make composite doors almost impossible to break through but they are extremely durable in harsh weather so it will not crack like a wooden door or warp and fade like a uPVC door. Not only are composite doors extremely hard-wearing, they come fitted with a multi-point locking system and can be made securer still with an anti-snap lock making this the perfect door for your home.

Composite doors are not only the best security wise but they are popular due to their aesthetic appearance. Taking on a wooden door look, composite doors come in a wide variety of colours and have multiple window style options so you can maintain the curb appeal to your home. Finally, composite doors are built to last and won’t have to be replaced for at least 35 years.

Like wooden and uPVC doors, there are pros and cons to Composite doors, but by using our guide to fixing common composite door lock problems, if you do decide to upgrade your door then our expert advice is there should you need it!

 

Front Door Prices

The cheapest on the market are uPVC doors with a range from £250-£1,500, next are composite doors with a wider range of costs between £550-£2,000 but the most expensive are wooden doors at £750-£4,000. Cost and security wise, this also makes composite doors the best option for your home.

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Choosing the best front door for security can depend on several factors and conditions. Make sure you read our guide above to know the best front doors in the UK and for more advice check out our ultimate guide to door security!

Keytek® Locksmiths

If you’re looking for more advice on your front door and lock security check out our comprehensive guide!

House Robbery Markings

Have you ever seen a strange marking on the side or nearby your house, such as on the curb or on your bin? Have you ever come across the term “burglar code”? Did you know that burglars have been thought to frequently use a symbol code to mark out residences they wish to break into? Burglars seem to be increasingly relying on codes, symbols, and markings to assist them in choosing houses to target and in recent times there has been much speculation about these signs, which is wittily dubbed the ‘da pinchi code’.

Although the comedic name is something to be wary of. You might be asking what do these signs mean and what should you do if you are worried about being burgled? Read through our blog to answer these questions and more!

 

What are House Robbery Markings?

These ‘robbery markings’ or ‘burglar signals’ are basic sketches and forms that are supposedly used as a ‘code’ to determine whether a house is worth targeting. These illustrations are also supposed to indicate to other thieves what type of person lives at the property, such as whether the residents are vulnerable, elderly, or live in a single-family home. Read below to know more about all thief signs on houses and how to protect your house!

 

The ‘Da Pinchi Code’

The da pinchi code is the name that has been used across social media sites and news stories over the last few years that have claimed to crack the code on burglar markings! The meanings behind the markings are deemed to mean things such as ‘vulnerable occupant’, ‘alarmed house’ and ‘wealthy’.

Recently, there have been new news stories related to the ‘da pinchi code’ which rules out these findings as being burglar code based on police research, instead the meanings of the markings being much more innocent. Check out our image below to see the markings, their supposed meaning and the true meaning behind them.

 

infographic house markings

 

What Do Burglars Use to Mark Houses?

Chalk is the main material burglars use as it is easily removed and not as noticeable as materials such as spray paint markings outside the house. As well as burglar chalk signs, burglars mark houses with almost anything they can; it may be a small blob of paint or a piece of string tied around a lamppost!

White and blue spray paint markings outside the house are the most common colours used by burglars. Make sure you keep an eye out for both colour pains to avoid getting burgled!

There was also a stint in 2018 mainly found in Dublin where burglars would place clear tape over the keyholes on the exterior access doors. If the tape is left intact for the next couple of days they would know the house is currently vacant!

As well as markings, burglars also may disguise themselves as door to door salesmen; this is what we call distraction burglary. They may also post fake Locksmith contact details through your door for example, always do your research before calling trades people to ensure they are legitimate! If you need a trustworthy Locksmith, contact us here!

 

Where are these Burglar Signs Usually Located?

The burglar signs themselves are often left somewhere on the property, such as a garden wall or driveway, but are also found somewhere nearby. Chalk marks on pavement, bin, lamp post, or curb are all examples of where you can find them nearby.

 

How do Robbers Pick a House?

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Burglars who place these signs on houses or in the neighbourhood have usually already scouted the area and determined which residences are potentially the best targets. In most cases, planned burglaries will have had the house watched for a few days to learn who lives there, their daily schedules, whether they have up-to-date home security system, and whether there is anything of value within the property. Learn more about how to avoid attracting robbers to your home in this guide!

 

How Do you Know if your House has been Marked?

You might find a few different symbols around your property that seem odd or strange, in odd places that the council or workmen wouldn’t leave markings for official work. If you happen to find marks on your property that seem out of place or like an illustration, this will be burglar signs!

What Should I do if there are Chalk Markings Outside my House?

So, you may have noticed strange chalk markings outside your house or nearby? First of all, take a photo of the suspected burglar sign, make a detailed note of its location, when you first noticed it and then wash it away as best as you can.

Next, we recommend that you contact your local council to ensure the markings weren’t left by their employees doing work along the street.

Following on, if not left there by the council contact the police using the non-emergency number, 101. They may advise you to keep an eye on and record suspicious activity in your neighbourhood, including strangers frequently walking up and down the road and looking or photographing yours or your neighbours’ homes! Take into consideration that burglar road markings are very common and therefore talking to your neighbours about this can also indicate whether they have noticed anything strange and you can ask them to keep an eye out moving forward.

Finally, it is strongly recommended that you upgrade your home security to be on the safe side, continue on to see our suggestions.

Myth Busters

Although you should always be wary of any strange markings that have appeared on your home, over the last couple of years some police forces have found that in actual fact these markings are harmless! Their investigations often conclude that these markings have been used by utility firms and broadband companies to plan upcoming works. So if you do happen to find weird markings round your property don’t panic!

Is the “Da Pinchi Code” the Only Robbery Markings used by Burglars?

Many people ask how to tell of a burglar is watching your house? Although the “da pinchi code” are thought to be the main markings used by burglars anywhere on or close to your house, there are other ways that is worth considering that burglars can use to keep an eye out on your property and test whether it is frequently occupied. If you have found a stone in front of your car wheel, then you should know it could be a test from a burglar to see if you use your parked car or not.

Another scenario that has been experienced by some residents is thrown food cans on your doorstep; it is another way to leave a mark on your property and undoubtedly if cleaned then the property is occupied while if it’s left for days then they assume it is not and find it a good burglar opportunity.

There are also some common signs which you should consider when thinking about your home security.  One of the most common indicators can be a random knock at your door. This can be done by burglars to see whether you have a dog or a security system that will alert them if they break in.

Random acts of vandalism may also be observed, for example a shattered window in a remote portion of your house could be a test to see if the house is occupied. Also, if you find your trash rummaged through or strewn about, it’s possible that someone is looking for information to see if you’re a good target.

If you have experienced any of the other mentioned signs, we suggest you do a quick search to see if your house is marked.

Make sure you consider the many types of markings a burglar can leave as it is not restricted to the ‘da pinchi’ code. What you can do in this case is join your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme if you are away from home for a while!

 

How to Protect your Home Against Burglars

Here are a few quick tips that you can apply today to avoid house robbery.

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Upgrade your Home Security Knowledge with Keytek® Locksmiths

We are dedicated to helping you keep your home secure and avoid house robbery here at Keytek® which is why we are continually updating our security content on our website. If you were interested in this blog we recommend that you take a look at our Home Security Guide here where we break down home security into sections such as your front door, garden gate, outdoor lights and more.

Already checked out our Home Security Guide? Take a look at our blog page here; we aim to upload a new blog for our readers weekly!

Christmas Safety Tips 2021

That’s right! The most wonderful time of the year is upon us again and with things being a bit more normal, you may be venturing on holiday or to family member’s houses for the big day. So, it’s a time that you need to be more vigilant about home security, especially if you are super organised and already have all your Christmas presents hidden away at home.

It’s not nice, but it’s not a surprise to know that the rate of burglaries does spike over the festive period, so check out our top Christmas Security Tips for 2021 below:

  1. Hide Presents Away
  2. Keep Quiet on Social Media
  3. Cyber Security
  4. Christmas Lights
  5. Don’t Leave Your Door Open for Santa
  6. Store Bins and Ladders Away from Your Property
  7. Hold your Mail if You’re Away on a Christmas Holiday
  8. Join a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
  9. Keep unwanted Reindeers away!
  10. Plan Ahead if You’re Going Away for Christmas Holiday

Keytek® Locksmiths

 

1. Hide Presents Away

Its best practice to not leave your valuables in sight of your windows all year round. But we would suggest holding off putting all your expertly wrapped Christmas presents under your tree for all to see. Now we understand the urge to show of your professional wrapping skills but try and hold off until the night before. Burglars like to be in and out of a house as quickly as possible so if your gifts are hidden away, they hopefully won’t have time to find them. Never leave your presents (or any valuables) in-view of the windows. Many chance burglars are tempted by the shimmering of the wrapping paper and it will instantly make your home a target.

A burglary infographic from Tesco Compare showed that the top 5 most stolen items included:

  • Money (17%)
  • Laptops (15%)
  • Cameras and MP3 Players (13%)
  • Jewellery and Watches (11%)
  • Mobile Phones (6%)

 

2. Keep Quiet on Social Media

We all like to post pictures of our homes looking festive and full of gifts, or even show off what our families have given us. However, its surprisingly easy for a burglar to track down where you live, if they see something they want to steal on your social media. Realistically we know that people are going to post lots of pictures of Christmas, so if you are one of these people, review your privacy settings on all your social media platforms. Make sure you are set to private and that you know everyone that is on your friends lists, get rid of anyone you aren’t sure you know.

 

3. Cyber Security

It’s not just the presents you need to be aware of at this time of year, it’s also your online transactions. Online scammers know that people do a lot of Christmas shopping online and can target you to steal your bank details. You could see more dodgy looking mails in your inbox offering you discounts or links to cheap websites, but you need to make sure you are shopping securely.

One thing you can look out for is that the website the correct web address. To be sure that you are on a secure website, look for a web address that starts https:// rather than http://. The ‘S’ means it’s usually secure. Never open an attachment from an email address you don’t recognise and is very important to remember that when shopping online that you should NEVER be asked for your pin number.

 

4. Christmas Lights

Christmas lights are one of the best things about Christmas, seeing all the houses looking festive on the way home from work should perk you up! However, if you are planning on decorating your own home with Christmas lights, then make sure you don’t leave a window open to do so. A burglar will be looking out for things like this to gain entry to your home. If wires are going to cause you an issue, then you could always use solar powered Christmas lights, these will also save you money of electricity as well!

We also recommend that it’s a good idea to leave a light on or on a timer, especially during the Holiday season when you’re more likely to be out Christmas shopping or attending a party! Leaving a television or radio on is also a good alternative to leaving the lights on.

As the Holidays approach many of us will be out of the house for long periods of time whether that’s for at an office party or simply doing the Christmas shopping. Outdoor lights are extremely useful both for returning home late at night and for deterring burglars.

 

5. Don’t Leave Your Door Open for Santa

We know you hear this a lot, but it’s important that you don’t leave your doors unlocked, whether going out, at night or even just when you are pottering around at home. Most burglaries are unplanned and if you have an open door, an intruder won’t hesitate to enter. If a burglar does gain access through an unlocked door, then you might find your home insurance policy is invalidated!

Hertfordshire Constabulary recommends by shutting and locking any gates and making sure you lock away any garden tools as these can be used by burglars to break in.

A survey by MoneySupermarket.com showed that the average value of a British garden’s contents was £1,457, this included garden tools, lawnmowers, patio furniture and barbecues. All these items are easy pickings for an opportunistic burglar, so lock them away!

 

6. Store Bins and Ladders Away from You’re Property

Don’t give a burglar a leg up! The majority of leading home insurance providers will recommend that it is always a good idea to lock up anything that can be used by a burglar to gain entry to a first-floor window or climb over a fence i.e. wheelie bins and ladders.

Home insurance provider Saga advises that all ladders should be securely locked away in a garage or shed. If you are using a garage or shed with windows to store anything that can be used by a burglar to gain entry it is also good to have curtains fitted to stop anyone from seeing in!

 

7. Hold your Mail if You’re Away on a Christmas Holiday

If you are going to be away for a long period of time, ask Royal Mail to hold your mail – they will do this for up to 2 months. We always recommend getting the Royal Mail to hold your letters to prevent them from piling up reducing the likelihood of a burglar knowing you’re away.

The Royal Mail operates a Keepsafe® service that consists of the Royal Mail holding onto any parcels and letters whilst you’re away for up to 100 days and will deliver them to your home once you have returned.

This is supported by The Home Office Identity Fraud Steering Committee as it reduces the risk of identity fraud when you are on Holiday as the service ensures that you do not leave any obvious clues to your absence such as a mountain of letters piled up on your doormat.

 

8. Join a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme

Neighbourhood Watch works to bring neighbours together who want to look out for each other, creating strong, friendly, active communities where crime and antisocial behaviour is less likely to happen. Find out about your local Neighbourhood Watch, or get information on how to start a Neighbourhood Watch scheme now.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a Neighbourhood Watch in your area and are going away for Christmas, tell a trusted neighbour so they can keep an eye on your property.

 

9. Keep unwanted Reindeers away!

It’s always a good idea to have a spy hole or door chain fitted to

 

10.      Plan Ahead if you are Going Away for Christmas

If you know that you are going to be away over the Christmas period then there are a few things you can do help prevent your home becoming a target.

Make sure to cancel any newspaper or milk subscriptions – nothing tells a burglar a house is empty more than built up newspapers and several bottles of untouched milk. If you have a good relationship with your neighbour, you could ask them to leave a car in your drive to give the allusion someone is at the property and ask them to check in on your home sporadically, picking up any mail or parcels that might have come through.

To help protect your home whilst away you could also:

  • Consider installing a security alarm with a siren which can alert neighbours if someone tries to force entry to your home.
  • Install indoor and outdoor smart security cameras. You can usually access smart security cameras anywhere you are and with some models can even be notified if a parcel is left on your door step. With a smart security camera, you can not only keep an eye on your home, ask a neighbour to pick up a newly delivered parcel and feel more secure but the physical presence of a camera makes your home a less attractive target to burglars.
  • Install an automatic light switch timer or smart timer to randomly turn lights on and off. Burglars can sometimes watch a house to see if anyone is home or if the property is currently vacated but one way you fool them is to have a few random lights throughout the home on a timer which will come on and off to give the illusion that someone is home.

 

Keytek® Locksmiths

There is nothing that can make your house 100% secure, but by taking some simple measures you can deter thieves giving you a stress-free Christmas. Hiring a professional Locksmith is the only way to be sure that your locks are insurance compliant.

Keytek® offer a free home security check with every job we do, so if you book us in for the day you move we can appraise your home and give you our best advice on how to keep the burglars away. Talk to the Locksmith about anti-snapping locks and any other doors you need securing such as a garage, gate, or shed as our professional Engineers carry a wide variety of locks on every job.

We wish you all a happy and safe Christmas 2021. If you liked this blog why not check out our others including our Top Ten Security Checklist

Halloween Safety Tips

In the last few years Halloween has looked a little different for all of us, so 31st October 2021 we need to remember to keep ourselves safe from Covid-19, our home protected from burglars and still let our children have a spooktacular time!

Did you know that November is the month you are most likely to be burgled? A home is burgled every two minutes in November, so read ahead to find out how to keep your home safe this Halloween 2021.

Read our Top Ten Security Tips List now to help add extra security to your home.

 

Costumes

Make Sure It Fits

Be sure that your child’s costume is not too long for them, walking up and down the street in the dark with a hem that too long is a recipe for disaster.

Make It Glow

A perfect way to jazz up your kid’s costume is to add some glow sticks, bike lights or reflective tape.

Not only does this add some fun to the costume but also makes your child easier to be seen.

Masks

Don’t try to wear a face mask underneath your Halloween costume or make an alternative, as these are not protective or safe, instead incorporate your mask as part of your costume by using face paint on the forehead or making a mask out of a breathable Halloween style material.

Masks can also restrict your child’s view; perhaps try opting for face paint instead so they can see clearly.

Do They Have Allergies?

Make sure your child is not allergic to the face paint you want to use, so they don’t have a reaction before they go out. It’s also important to make sure they wash it all off properly before bed.

Is It Flammable?

This one is a biggie. There are lots of candles out on Halloween, and if a cape or flowy costume gets caught on the flame then it can be very serious. Make sure any costume you buy has the CE mark that means its flame-retardant. We also suggest using lights instead of naked flames to light any pumpkins or other decorations.

 

Trick or Treating

Road Safety

Ensure your children stick to the pavement, cross at dedicated crossings, and never step out into the road from parked cars.

Also make sure you only trick or treat in safe and well-known areas to make sure you stay safe and make sure your young children are accompanied when out trick or treating and not left alone.

Go As a Group

Older children should go out in groups, and the route they take should be approved by an adult and they need to stick to it. Use phones to check in regularly and set a curfew for them to be home by.

No Pumpkin – No Treats

Be aware of those houses that aren’t getting involved in Halloween. Traditionally a house was open to trick or treaters if they had a pumpkin outside, with those wishing not to partake in this often posting a sign in their window or on their door.

If Halloween is your thing, then why not put up a sign welcoming trick or treaters. If you don’t wish to participate head over to the Neighbourhood Watch website to download their sticker!

Covid Safe

Make sure you and your family are being Covid safe when you trick or treat. This can include wearing suitable face masks, respecting social distancing, and using hand sanitiser regularly when knocking on doors.

Doorstop Safety

Whether a burglar is using distraction burglary, or will run past you to try to grab something, make sure your stay safe when you open your door by reading about How to Deal with Doorstep Crime and make sure you have burglary deterrents set up to reduce the risk of them targeting your home.

It’s important to also make sure no children go in other people’s homes – they should always stay on the doorstep!

 

Sweets

It’s best to avoid allowing your child to eat homemade treats as you do not know the full ingredients. Check over each of the sweets for anomalies and make sure that all sweets and chocolates are in sealed wrappers.

Also make sure there are no sweets that will set off your child’s allergies, and if you’re not sure, just throw them away. Remember to brush yours and your children’s teeth properly after eating sweets -they are extremely sugary.

 

Decorations

When decorating your home inside and out make sure you avoid any major dangers. This includes using battery powered candles instead of having an open flame to minimise the risk of fire, supervising your children when they’re pumpkin carving and avoiding putting any decorations on stairs to avoid the risk of tripping.

 

Halloween Party

Protect Your Home

When planning a Halloween party, make sure you know who you’re inviting so you know who is in your home.

Secure your valuables, hiding them away in a safe or a locked room. That way if any strangers do make their way in your home, it won’t be easy for them to take anything of importance or value.

Covid Safe

Although we can have parties again, its still best to be safe. Try to have doors or windows open if the party is inside, to allow for air to flow. Think about how big the party venue is to ensure people can socially distance and it isn’t overcrowded.

Or stick to the new traditions made over Covid. Why not have an online Halloween party that you can invite all your friends and family to. An online spooktacular quiz, movie marathon and best fancy dress competition are all things you can still do safely from your own home.

 

Pumpkin Picking

Visiting a pumpkin patch is a relatively low risk fun Halloween activity for you and the children to enjoy. Remember to wear your mask and sanitise your hands before and after visiting to stay as safe as possible.

Why not order a few pumpkins or root vegetables in with your shopping and hide them around the house as a pumpkin scavenger hunt for the kids (big and small)!

 

Halloween Donation Box

Food banks are struggling more than ever. Many have had to close down or relocate so finding them is a struggle. Why not get the whole family involved in decorating a box with Halloween spookiness and fill them with tinned and long-life food to donate to your local food bank? Find your local food bank with the Trussell Trust here!

 

Follow our tips to avoiding Halloween vandalism…

  • If possible, park any vehicles in a garage or a protected area. Parking your car in a garage or a protected area will help to prevent vandals from egging or damaging your vehicles.

  • Fit motion-sensing lights to the exterior of your home. Increasing the lighting on the outside of your property will help to deter vandals as they will be more visible to you and your neighbours.

  • Be friendly. Most people will only prank people that have been unwelcoming, so just make sure you are well stocked up on candy and you shouldn’t have any disgruntled trick or treaters.

  • Move garden ornaments out of sight, preferably in a locked garage or shed. Popular home insurance claims during this time of year are usually for smashed windows and damage to doors and garden furniture.

If you’re not in the Halloween spirit, there are a few measures you can take to avoid trick or treaters:

  • Turn off the main lights inside your house and shut the curtains. The majority of trick or treaters will avoid your home simply because they will think you are either asleep or not home.

  • Put up a sign to explain that you are not welcoming trick or treaters.

 

Keytek® Locksmiths

Trick or treat? Make sure you’re not fooled by a faulty lock by getting locked out this Halloween! Find your nearest Locksmith here! Liked our blog? Please check out some of our other blogs by visiting our Blog page when you share our ghoulish tips on social media!

School Safety 2021

With children returning to the classroom in September and the threat of Coronavirus beginning to fade with vaccines being rolled out, it’s looking like schools will be ensuring the safety of your children like they have for many years previously. Even though safety in schools has been under the microscope since the outbreak of Covid-19, there have been policies in place for many years that you might be unaware of, that keep the children safe.

Health and Safety

While at school your child’s safety is ultimately the responsibility of the head teacher and management staff. This is managed day to day by the health and safety policies that school are required to have. It is required that schools appoint a ‘competent’ person to ensure that these health and safety requirements are being met. The person appointed is essential that this person has the relevant knowledge and experience to fulfil this role and keep every child safe.

It is required by law that all school have a health and safety policy that is ingrained in the everyday running of the school. Within the policy there should be clear roles and responsibilities for members of staff and clear strategies on how to manage any risks and incidents. The responsibility of monitoring and updating this policy when needed is the head teacher.

Security

Every school will have its own personalised security policy. Every school has different security and safety procedures because every school is in a different location, has a different layout and that comes with its own safety concerns. The policy will outline the roles of staff, students and the wider community if an incident occurs. Its common practice that a school will work with the police and Local Government will be involved with a school security and safety policy.

A security policy won’t just cover protecting students for external threats, but also protecting them for any internal risks. Internal risks can involve the welfare of students, including the potential for serious violent crime, drugs and child exploitation. All staff have the responsibility to be aware of the associated risks and understand the measure put in place to manage them.

 

External threats covered within the policy can include; school evacuation, bomb alert and treat procedure, lockdown template and terrorist incidents. Not only will there be policy in place to handle these situations if they arrive, but also aftercare policies. These can include; debrief and lessons learned plans and post incident support documents.

Schools often have security cameras on the premises, to monitor students as well as those entering and leaving the grounds. Most schools will have a main entrance, with a receptionist to meet any visitors, this also acts as a way ensure only people with permission enter the school building. Many schools also employ a fob based or coded entry system for staff, not only on external doors but on some internal doors as well. This means that staff can move freely about the building, while maintaining the safety of locked doors.

It may sound complicated, technical and a little bit scary, but all these policies are there to ensure your child is safe and happy at school. All eventualities are covered in these procedures, to ensure the smooth and effective reaction if a serious incident was to occur. If all staff and students are familiar with the safety measures put in place, then they are more likely to stay safe if anything untoward happens.

Covid-19

The government have stated that schools no longer need to have restrictions surrounding the coronavirus. They have laid out some new guidance for schools to follow.

Mixing and Bubbles

The government say that it is no longer necessary to keep children in the same groups or bubble. This means schools are able to be more flexible with their curriculum delivery, be able to return to traditional assemblies and don’t have to keep children separate at lunch. However there needs to be an outbreak management plan that includes the possibility of reintroducing bubbles if needed for limited time.

Face coverings

The government no longer advises that pupils in schools wear face coverings. The same goes for staff and visitors in classrooms or communal areas. However, as much as the government no longer requires face coverings to be warn, it does recommend that schools use their discretion and advises that face coverings should be worn in enclosed, crowded spaces, where students may come into contact with people they wouldn’t normally. This would include public transport to and from school or college.

 

All info from www.gov.uk

You may not have realised the amount of work that goes in to make your child’s school a safe environment. It’s reassuring to know that most eventualities have been thought of. In this time of Covid-19 it’s more important than ever that schools follow correct procedure to keep everyone safe.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-and-college-security/school-and-college-security#risk-assessment—identifying-internal-and-external-security-risks
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-and-safety-advice-for-schools/responsibilities-and-duties-for-schools
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

The Future of Security 2021: Ring Indoor Drone

Here at Keytek® we are always keeping our eye on the latest security innovations and this one which was released in September last year really is taking the future of security to the next level. Introducing the Ring Indoor Drone, yes that’s right an indoor (!) drone!

 

“An innovative new approach to always being home”

That’s what Ring has set out to achieve with their new product. Their solution to the real problems that their customers are facing. One thing Ring couldn’t predict though was the worldwide pandemic and the fact that more now than ever we are all at home far more often than we’d ideally like. However, with brighter days on the horizon and our interest in new security technologies we’d thought you’d like to know where the future is heading too!

 

What is the Ring Indoor Drone?

The Ring Indoor Drone is a device that enables you to access multiple viewpoints via your smart device throughout your home. Rather than multiple CCTV cameras placed strategically around your home the Ring Indoor Drone is just one device, with one camera. As the name suggests like a drone this device fly’s like a drone around your home to capture multiple viewpoints. It is a flying CCTV camera, now if that’s not something from the future we don’t know what is!

 

How does the Ring Indoor Drone work?

As you guessed the Ring Indoor Drone is more than a flying CCTV camera, it is much more intelligent than that. The flying indoor camera is autonomous and flies through your chosen paths in your house so that you can activate it and check whether you may have left a window open, the stove on or if your dog has been sitting on your bed whilst you are at work during the day.

As well as having the option to control the Ring Indoor Drone to activate when you want it to it also will automatically fly around your home when triggered by your Ring Alarm when in ‘away mode’. This means it can capture a burglar in the act and enable you to alert the police straight away rather than waiting to see your home upturned once you get home.

Once the Ring Indoor Drone has done its job flying around your home it automatically returns to its base and slots itself in and begins charging. There’s not much you need to actually do to ensure it is maintained.

Ring have released a video on YouTube of how the drone works when triggered in away mode. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2jFN_QEcS4

 

Is the Ring Indoor Drone secure?

As with all smart devices the privacy and security of your device is paramount to avoid any attacks from cyber criminals. The camera is physically blocked when docked in its charging station and will only begin recording once in action. What’s more the drone can only fly in the paths that you set so it cannot be controlled manually by someone else. What about safety when flying about? The developers over at Ring had also thought about this to avoid any bumping into heads when you are walking around your home so the drone is lightweight with shrouded propellers and built-in obstacle avoidance technology.

 

How much does the Ring Indoor Drone cost?

Currently, the Ring Indoor Drone is not available in the UK but it is set to launch in the US this year with a price tag of $250. We were surprised at this cost and were expecting more but you will only receive the full benefits of the drone if you have the full Ring security system already in place in your home.

 

Keytek® Locksmiths

If you found this blog interesting you should take a look at some of our other latest blogs including Hive View Outdoor Product Review and Burglary Statistics 2020/2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://blog.ring.com/2020/09/24/introducing-ring-always-home-cam-an-innovative-new-approach-to-always-being-home/